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The Lightning made quick work of the Boston Bruins in their conference semifinal, dispatching one of the league’s toughest teams in just five games. The series victory gave them a bit of rest as they start what they hope will be the second half of their playoff run.
For the Capitals to punch their ticket, they needed to overcome a team that had had their number for the past 14 years, as the Penguins were the ones to move on in each of previous seven post-season meetings between the two teams.
Alex Ovechkin had had to say “Good luck“ to Sidney Crosby in the handshake line each of the three times he’d matched up against the peer with whom he will be forever linked. Finally, it was Ovechkin’s turn this year to be the one getting the well wishes on continuing his post-season journey, as he and his team hope to ride a first conference final appearance in 20 years to a Stanley Cup victory.